Get a sneak peek into the life of Deborah Roberti, creator of the beautiful beading patterns on Around the Beading Table, in this fun interview.
When I first started bead weaving, I turned to various online sources for new patterns. These allowed me to hone my skills and become a better beader.
One of my favorite websites was Around The Beading Table. I loved how clear and simple the instructions were and appreciated the graphics illustrating each step.
The artistic mind behind this resource is Deborah Roberti and it’s my absolute pleasure to have had the opportunity to interview her.
Continue reading to discover more about her including how she turned a huge financial bump in the road into an opportunity and grew her business into what it is today.
An Interview with Deborah Roberti
Q1: Where are you from?
A: I live in northern California but I’m originally from Massachusetts. I try to visit family in Michigan, where my husband is from, as often as I can.
Q2: How did you get started bead weaving?
A: My husband was helping a friend clean out his garage and he came home with a box of beads.
I made some earrings and strung some necklaces but never developed more of an interest until I bought a book on bead weaving and I discovered Right-Angle Weave.
From that moment on, I was permanently hooked and started writing, illustrating and publishing my designs in 2004.
Q3: What inspired you to create your website?
A: When I first started writing patterns in 2004, there were very few websites where you could sell digital downloads in PDF form.
I started off selling from Rita’s Sova’s Bead-Patterns.com and Sova-Enterprises.com (and continue today). Then, I created a website so I could sell my patterns from it and include free patterns, tips, etc. Also, I really enjoyed learning how to create a website.
Q4: Is beading your full-time job or do you work elsewhere?
A: I still consider myself a desktop publisher/graphic designer by profession. I ran a full-time freelance business until about 2007 when the U.S. economy and the print industry both tanked at the same time.
That left me with quite an income gap to fill so I turned my beading hobby into a full-fledged business which takes up most of my time. I have also been updating my graphics skills as of late so I can get into the ePub and web development aspect of graphic design.
Q5: Beading usually starts off as a fun hobby for most but after you turned it into a business, do you still find it relaxing or do you now turn to other hobbies in your spare time?
A: I find beading more relaxing since I discovered lap beading.
As it turns out, beading “around the beading table” for long hours was putting too much strain on my back and neck. I discovered lap beading, which I do on the sofa, both with and without a footstool and a large beading board on my lap.
When I can, though, I really love to knit and crochet, which I find more relaxing and meditative.
Q6: You include diagrams in your beading patterns, do you have a graphic arts background?
A: Yes, and beaders often ask what software I use to create my patterns.
I use the same software that I use for graphics/desktop publishing work to create my patterns:
- Adobe InDesign for layout of text and illustrations
- Adobe Illustrator for creating the individual step-by-step illustrations
- Adobe Photoshop for cleaning up photos I take of finished pieces with my digital camera
- And, Adobe Acrobat Professional to make the PDF patterns
Q7: What’s your favorite bead weaving stitch?
A: Right-Angle Weave but with all of the new shapes and two-hole beads, I admit that I am not really sure what stitch I am using for some of these beads and my designs. Modified something-stitch, I am guess.
Q8: Where do you draw inspiration for your jewelry patterns?
A: I really don’t know. Sometimes, it’s just the geometry of the way beads come together and sometimes the beads themselves are inspiring. Sometimes, mistakes become awesome designs.
Q9: Where do you do your beading? Do you have a dedicated spot at home or elsewhere?
A: As mentioned before, these days I lap bead, in our little living room on the sofa.
I do have a dedicated beading area with all of my beads but my beading table is now used primarily for picking the beads that I need for each project or design.
Q10: What do you do with the physical jewelry that you design for your patterns?
A: Although I wear some of it, it all goes in a box in case I want to photograph it later. My prototypes and designs that I found better ways to bead, all go to family and friends.
Q11: How do you store your beading supplies? Do you have any storage tips you can share?
A: Over time, I have tried everything! I am still reading and trying other beaders’ tips. 🙂 Right now, all of my beads are in an assortment of plastic boxes and drawers.
The only advice I have is that you label everything. Do not toss the label that came with the beads ’cause you never know when you want to buy more or need to check the size.
Q12: Can you share something fun that others wouldn’t know about you?
A: I was very young when my mother left. My father, who was a dairy farmer, hired a local woman to come and look after my brother and I while he worked. Her name was Auree and she was Wampanoag and Algonquin Indian.
She took my brother and me to visit some of her friends once. One of them was a Wampanoag elder who showed me an old Wampanoag belt of woven beads carved from quahog shells. It was magnificent.
I think I was destined to become a beader right then, decades before I ever picked up a bead.
It’s funny how life throws opportunities at you, sometimes disguised as hurdles you need to overcome.
Deborah’s entire beading journey started because her husband decided to bring a box of beads home. Her beading business took off after an economic crisis.
No matter how experienced a beader you are, everyone struggles to organize their beading supplies. It takes a while to work out a system that works for you so just know you’re not alone if your beads are a mess right now.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Deborah Roberti!
Deborah Roberti – Owner of Around the Beading Table
Check out Around the Beading Table for stunning beading patterns with step-by-step illustrations.